Japan Essay, Research Paper
Almost everyday art is often overlooked and is seldom appreciated. Perhaps, with the subsequent information your interest will grow as mine did. During the end of the nineteenth century, also during the time of modern development in painting techniques, Japan entered the international world. Their culture made slight changes due to opposing
virtues and renovating ideals pertaining to painting. Europe possessed many of the modernistic, innovative principles and inspired the Japanese tremendously. With the overwhelming influence of the European painting techniques, the Japanese style remained almost unaltered, yet accompanied with modernized standards.
The European style migrated to Japan and imposed on the traditional and ancient methods. As a result, the patrons of the ancient style denied the effectual, European ways of artistic expression. Thus, the Japanese culture divided into two worlds: Traditional and Modern Western.
The European form was not completely contradictory to the Japanese. However, the color hues, organization of motifs, and personal expression used showed great contrast. These elements were absent in Japanese paintings. The Japanese were considered archaic and anile according to the Europeans (Baker 199). Their artistic expression and reasons for the subject matter usage were constantly changing and refitting the most recent alterations in society (Gregg 757). They strive to find new ways of “representing the intrinsic beauty of nature as a higher synthesis of modern realism and characterism” (Microsoft). Symbolism and realism, “classical restraint and romantic passion” were elements attempting to apply itself to the primitive style and were used to reveal significant affinities (Microsoft).
Japanese painting, concerning artistic expression, was the preferred art form and was used to deal with mental tensions and inner thoughts. They were taught the “various rules of objective realism such as linear and aerial perspective, and shading” (”Japan” 959). Their themes encompassed life, mother nature (like the Europeans, but pass?), movement and character. The traditional Japanese displayed the inevitable outcome by objecting and attempting to overcome the conflict between the dual civilizations (”Japan” 958).
The concurrent practices took place in a time of complex life situations, and agonies became too acute to be dealt with a traditional art form (Baker 201). In fact, the Western style actually allowed the Japanese to escape the restricted attributes such painting with definition and without perspective or visible space. It gave them more opportunities to show elaborate, uncapped emotion without the risk of condemnation by ancestral painters (Baker 193). In other words, the new method was their scapegoat or moat away from the mainland, as if it was an excuse to experiment with untrained, inexperienced and undesired means. Even today, Japanese-style painters take advantage of this recent development. It influences erecting, young artists and significantly increases their efforts to find “adequate visual forms for expressing their complicated inward life” (”Japan” 958).
Many researchers believe and are convinced that Japan needs to study Westernism [painting] to survive in the painting world (Gregg 751). The division of the two co-existing cultures has “made substantial contributions to modern concepts of Japanese painting” (Baker 200). On the other hand, despite the clash, traditional ways have endured and abide by the same code used centuries ago.
Baker, Joan-Stanley. Japanese Art. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1984.
Gregg, N. Taylor. “Hagi: Where Japan’s Revolution Began.” National Geographic
6 June. 1984: 751- 772.
“Japan.” Encyclopedia Brittanica. 1967 ed.
Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia. Computer software. 1996. CD-ROM.